I have now been home from Building Bridges for Peace for about a week. My camp recovery period has included lots of sleep, television, and a fair amount of beer (I have been using one of the many wonders of NYC — beer deliveries from the Korean market around the corner).
The last few days of camp were amazing, as always. The Palestinian and Israeli participants are friends again, the staff are too tired to care about broken rules, and everyone is generally pretty happy. During this time of pseudo-Utopia, we had an amazing evening program sponsored by an organization called Sacred Slam. The aim of the organization is to use art in order to break down stereotypes and misconceptions. Their most recent project involved using art with people dealing with mental health issues. Spoken word and poetry are two of the more common artistic means used, but video, music, and collage are also quite popular. At the event for BBfP, there were two spoken word artists, a guitarist/singer, and a violist. It was amazing and everyone was really into it.
The final performance was a hip-hop band, called the Flobots. They were really the highlight of the night. Their lyrics are socially motivated and the beats of the music are catchy. When I spoke to a few of the band members after the show, they said that they’re trying to re-define what hip-hop can be. They want to be able to motivate people to affect change in their communities through music. As a result, they’ve founded their own organization which does music workshops in various schools and communities in the Denver, CO area (where they’re based). It was amazing to watch the Flobotsperform and I have been addicted to their CD since I heard them. Definitely check them out.
Camp ended well and I am happy to say that maybe I helped to create some small peace in the world.